Honda to cut output at U.S., Canada plants by as much as half
LOS ANGELES – Honda Motor Co. will slash daily output at its U.S. and Canada assembly plants by as much as 50 percent starting today, as the supply of parts coming from Japanese suppliers hit by the March 11 earthquake dwindles.
Although Honda has a high percentage of North American-supplied content in its vehicles, the cuts in output are evidence that the shortage of a single part can cripple a factory.
Honda disclosed the plans in memos to employees and suppliers on Tuesday.
"We're not shutting down anything," Honda spokesman Ed Miller said. "While we are continuing to keep all North American plants open, we will be reducing production selectively, on a temporary basis, to cope with parts supply issues."
In the United States, Honda builds the Accord, Acura TL, Acura RDX, CR-V, Element, and Accord Crosstour in Ohio. The Civic is assembled in Indiana. In Lincoln, Ala., Honda manufactures the Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Pilot.
The Civic, Acura ZDX, Acura MDX, and Acura CSX (Canada) are built in Alliston, Ontario.
According to the memo to suppliers, Honda will make the following adjustments to output beginning today:
- In Marysville, Ohio, Honda said lines 1 and 2 will operate four hours daily for each shift.
- The automaker's Alliston, Ontario, factory will run four hours daily output for each shift.
- In Lincoln, Ala., Honda's plant will run four hours daily production for each shift on line one. Line two at the plant was already scheduled to be offline in anticipation of the Honda Ridgeline, which is being relocated to the line.
- Honda's Greensburg, Ind., plant will operate four hours of production daily. And the automaker's plant in East Liberty, Ohio, will run normally with "slight adjustments," Honda told suppliers.
- Honda's plant in Mexico, where the CR-V is assembled, will continue normal production. The automaker's Anna, Ohio, engine plant will run at the same pace as vehicle production.
Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith said that, while trying to help downed suppliers, the automaker is also looking at alternative sources for replacement parts.
Miller declined to say which components are in short supply. While Honda will operate production lines fewer hours per day, it will not slow the production timing between vehicles – known as "takt time."
"These adjustments will vary from plant to plant, based on product mix, customer demand and product inventory," Miller said.
Affected line workers have three options, Honda said today.
Employees can stay at work during non-production hours with pay, take incremental vacation, or take time off without pay and without a penalty to their monthly attendance bonus.
Staff reporter Ryan Beene contributed to this story
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